Cervical Cancer Screening is available to those between the ages of 25 to 64 and is crucial in helping to pick up signs of cervical cancer at an early stage.
Cervical cancer is when abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix grow in an uncontrolled way and in time, form a growth also known as a tumour. If not caught early, cancer cells gradually grow into the surrounding tissues and may spread to other areas of the body which can be life threatening.
The human papilloma virus (HPV) is a major cause of the main types of cervical cancer. Most sexually active people come into contact with HPV during their lifetime. Most are harmless but some cause genital warts, and others cause abnormal growth of cells that can develop into cancer. HPV can be passed on through close skin to skin contact, usually during sexual activity.
To help prevent the development of cervical cancer, the screening tests for abnormal HPV cells. By having a cervical screening, it will help with an early diagnosis of any abnormal cells if there are any or genital warts and will stop further development of the cancer through early treatment.
With West Northamptonshire data showing a percentage of people not taking up a cervical screening test, the local Public Health team is advising residents between the age of 25 to 64, who are eligible for cervical cancer screening to make sure they attend their screening appointment and remain up to date with their screening.
Dr Annapurna Sen, Consultant in Health Protection for West Northamptonshire Council says:
“Across West Northamptonshire 30% of the eligible population between age 25-64 did not have their cervical screening test, especially younger women. This may risk many of these people with cervical cancer go undetected, which may spread due to delay in diagnosis and treatment.
“I urge to you protect yourself from a risk of developing a cervical cancer. Attend your screening appointment as it is reliable at picking up cancers or abnormalities that could lead to cancer and will do more good than harm to you.
“If you have missed your last appointment or are putting it off, take the time to call your GP and discuss booking an appointment.”